In 1986, the average cost of a Thanksgiving meal for 10 people was $28.74.
This year the average is $49.20, which is a $5.73 price increase from last year’s average of $43.47, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
In that meal, the federation includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and beverages of coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10 people.
This year’s average price for a 16-pound turkey is $21.57. That’s about a $1.35 per pound, which is an increase of 25 cents per pound—or a total of $3.91 for a whole turkey—compared to 2010.
“Turkey prices are higher this year primarily due to strong consumer demand both here in the U.S. and globally,” John Anderson, a senior economist with the federation, said in a prepared statement.
According to the Wall Street Journal, "turkey growers" want to avoid oversupply of turkeys.
The recession also caused the price of turkey feed to increase.
Now, turkey supply is tight and demand is high, according to the WSJ.
Conversely, chicken farms have increased production and prices have decreased.
Despite some higher-priced products, Anderson said citizens are still getting a good deal.
“Although we’ll pay a bit more this year, on a per-person basis, our traditional Thanksgiving feast remains a better value than most fast-food value meals, plus it’s a wholesome, home-cooked meal,” he said in a prepared statement.